Curry School Students and Faculty Have Strong Showing at Annual Education Research Conference


This week, faculty members and students at the Curry School of Education are joining education researchers from around the globe for the American Educational Research Association (AERA) annual meeting. The annual meeting is the largest gathering of educational research scholars.

Each year, Curry School students and faculty members serve in leadership positions, take part in leading sessions and receive a number of awards and recognitions.  This year is no different.

According to the AERA, the theme of this year’s meeting is Toward Justice, an attempt to focus on how educational research and scholarly interests “can align more closely with the interests of justice for those who have been and are educationally marginalized, dispossess, and excluded.”

Toward that theme, Curry School faculty members and students will lead and participate in 69 sessions over the course of the four-day meeting.  These sessions include topics such as Activism in Urban Spaces; Black, and Latino Males, Identity, Achievement, Support; Critical Global Citizenship: Education for Global Understanding and Local Justice; and At-Risk Populations in Gifted Education.

An important element of the annual AERA gathering is the awards offered to faculty and students.

Peter Youngs, associate professor of education, has been selected as an Outstanding Reviewer for 2014 for the Educational Researcher (ER), the research publication of the American Educational Research Association.

Michael Kennedy, assistant professor of special education, will receive the Instructional Technology Special Interest Group’s 2015 Early Career Award this week, which is presented to a deserving new scholar in the field who submits a paper that has not been either accepted for presentation or presented before.

Mindy Adnot and Scott Latham, both graduate students in education policy are each the recipient of a 2015 AERA dissertation fellowship.  Adnot, who was awarded the AERA Measures of Effective Teaching (MET) dissertation fellowship, is conducting research focused on the Washington D.C. Public Schools teacher evaluation system, IMPACT.  The recipient of the AERA Dissertation Fellowship, Latham’s research on early childhood education and school readiness has been funded in part by a 2014 AERA dissertation grant.

Doctoral student in educational leadership, foundations and policy, Hilary Dack, who won a travel award to attend the conference, will receive the 2015 AERA Research in Social Studies SIG Outstanding Paper Award for her paper, “Try Not to Giggle if You Can Help It.”

In addition to receiving awards, several Curry School students and faculty serve in leadership rolls.

Carol Paxton, a doctoral student in educational psychology-applied developmental science, was appointed to serve as AERA’s Division E Senior Representative for the Graduate Student Council (GSC).  The GSC is a place where the more than 7,000 student members are nurtured as future education researchers through professional development, mentoring and networking.

Stephanie van Hover, associate professor of education, who currently serves as the program chair for the Second Language Research Special Interest Group, will be taking over as chair of that group after this week’s meeting.  According to AERA, this group works to ““to promote research in second-language learning/acquisition and to facilitate the exchange of ideas among educators involved in second language teaching and language program administration.”

Research Assistant Professor Valerie Futch is program chair for the Out-of-School Time Special Interest Group.  This group of scholars focus their research on the opportunities, or lack there of, for students before or after the standard school day.

Finally, Bob Pianta, dean of the Curry School, currently serves as the associate editor for AERA Open, AERA’s new open access journal that features rapid peer-review and dissemination of research.

The AERA annual meeting is taking place April 16-20 in Chicago, Illinois.